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2007 Reel Guide
Mar 27, 2007
by Rob Pavlick


If you are in the market for a new reel, the selection of brands and new technologies can be mind numbing. However, the wide selection is a plus because reel companies are always looking to add new innovations and improve performance. When it comes time to sift through the entire array of reel options out there, my advice would be to stop by your local tackle shop before the season goes full swing. With less traffic in the store, it gives shop owners a chance to give you their undivided attention during your reel selection process. Plus, the shop in your neighborhood has the best understanding of your waters. So, just go to the tackle shop listings on to find the one closest to you and start your new toy search! In the meantime, to help get you started, here is a closer look at some quality reels.

Abu Garcia

The new Cardinal 800 from Abu Garcia is a reel spinning reel series with a great balance of performance and durability. The spool range for the five spinning models goes from 110 yards/6lbs. to 250 yards/17lbs. While all the reels are designed to withstand saltwater conditions, the larger sized models with a 5.1:1 ratio are more suitable for northeast species. The reels feature Abu Garcia's Armor Guard coating and High Performance Corrosion Resistant (HPCR) bearings, which both assist in the reel’s ability to withstand corrosion. The bearing supported Carbon Matrix Drag System allows anglers the option of using lighter lines without worrying about break-offs.


Italian designed products are usually noted for two important qualities; detailed craftsmanship and unmatched style. The new Alutecnos Albacore Gorilla can be characterized as having both of these qualities. This conventional reel is not only easy on the eyes, but also designed for high performance, deep water jigging. Features include a twin-drag that can be set over 40 lbs, a guaranteed free-spool, and a 4.4:1 ratio. This fast and tough reel can spool up to 800 yards of 12lb or 600 yards of 50lb. And being of Italian descent, it is one of the most stylish looking reels in years. This Gorilla's matte finish and red colored handle really make it stand out.


Durability, long casts, and responsiveness are what the surf angler looks for in a reel. Daiwa's Saltiga Surf reels are built to the performance and durability standards surf fishermen demand, and their sharp looking aluminum with red detailing design are an added bonus. For those surf anglers who prefer conventional reels, the SASURF30, with an aluminum spool and aluminum side plates, is a lightweight and responsive reel. The fast 5.4:1 gear ratio of the SASURF30 pulls in 35 inches of either braided or monofilament line with every crank. The SASURF30 also features seven ball and roller bearings, including CRBB anti-corrosion bearings, for smooth performance despite the harsh conditions of saltwater surf fishing. The Saltiga Surf spinning reel features a lightweight, high-strength "Air Metal" Magnesium body that's specially treated to prevent saltwater corrosion. A high-precision, sealed drag system provides superior fish-stopping capability, while Daiwa's Digigear digitally designed and machined gears ensure efficient energy transfer and the power to win the fight against a true sea cow. The spinning reels also feature Daiwa's Air Bail™, which keeps line from hanging up, and a bail lock that prevents the handle and rotor from turning during a cast.

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